Score one for Sonoma Valley and this winery, as the ’97 exceeds previous efforts. Lots of enticing deep-berry aromas touched up with leather, dill, and an array of other spices and herbs, even oregano. It’s one of those rock-solid winners where the whole is more profound than the parts.
Supple and refined, with velvety tannins and good ripe fruit. The aroma is classic black currants, with a strong dose of green olives, but there are deep flavors of black cherries and blackberries, and the tannins are fairly astringent.
From 109-year-old vines, an old-style field blend with It’s robust, full of body and flavor, rich and powerful. Runs wild with fruity flavors and stains the glass with thick syrupy cathedrals. —S.H.
Mainly Cabernet Sauvignon, with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Despite being held back three and a half years to let the considerable tannins mellow, it’s still fairly tannic and austere, with dark chocolate and cassis, highly polished fruit, and lots of oak. Sharp and edgy; needs time, but could age well.
Smoky, tarry, licorice notes are firmly in evidence in this dark, rich and smooth wine. Black currant and cherry flavors are at the core. On the finish there is a hint of bitterness. —J.M.
Distinctly warm-country Zin, with its strong flavors of cassis, plum pudding and chocolate that come close to raisiny Port but successfully avoid it. As a result, it’s a rich and complexly delicious wine. It’s also very dry, and the alcohol is controlled.
Contains Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino grapes. Not bad for a multicounty blend. Classic aromas of black currants and smoky oak. Ripe and fruity and elegant. Dusty tannins indicate some aging potential. Contains small amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Always an interesting wine, this year it showcases floral and melon notes in addition to the usual grassy-citrusy ones. It’s tart enough for dry palates and salty foods but has a round fruitiness and even a little sweetness that make it nice in its own right. Ten percent Semillon adds a nutty, figgy element.